Canadian Forest Service Publications

The status of container planting in western Canada. 1970. Kinghorn, J.M. The Forestry Chronicle 46(6): 466-469.

Year: 1970

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28217

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


Canada's western provinces must develop new reforestation techniques if forest management is to be intensified, and if forest renewal is to keep pace with the accelerated rate of harvesting. The challenge can be met if labor productivity is significantly increased through mechanization of planting. Container planting methods can improve manual planting performance and provide the basis for ultimate mechanization.

Container planting methods as developed in Canada may be defined as reforestation systems whereby tree seedlings are grown, transported and planted in small containers. Several types, sizes and shapes of containers are being investigated but, for reasons of economy in bulk and weight, all are characterized by a tiny soil capacity usually not exceeding three cubic inches. The small size and uniform shape of container-grown seedlings permits manual planting rates two to three times faster than those possible by mattock planting conventional bare-root nursery stock. The principal biological advantage of container methods is the capability of protecting the seedling and delivering it to the planting site with all of its roots intact and viable.

Large-scale container field trials are underway in all four provinces, but few conclusive results are yet available. Deficiencies in containers or techniques that have come to light are being overcome. As biologically acceptable methods emerge, efforts should be channelled toward developing equipment for automating and mechanizing both the nursery and planting phases.